A former west Kentucky police officer is receiving 42 months in federal prison for arresting a citizen who attempted to file a complaint against him. Then- Providence Police Department sergeant William Dukes Jr. threatened to arrest a man who was attempting to file a complaint against him for a earlier interaction.

Many people think of internet as a utility -- as essential as water or electricity. But in the Louisville area, nearly one in five households aren’t connected to the internet. The rate is even higher for the poorest households. WFPL’s Amina Elahi reports that some people in Louisville who can’t afford high-speed internet service are turning to lower cost and lower speed options.

The Louisville group Special Project has announced that it is partnering with the Jefferson County courts to create a pilot program to help lawyers and judges consider the potential impact on children of parents who are in jail awaiting trial.

T. Benicio Gonzales, interim director at the Center for Health Equity, helped spearhead a report that released a recommendation to help children, called a family responsibility statement.

Lexington Council Rejects City Hall Proposal

Sep 13, 2018
Stu Johnson

The Lexington city council has voted down a proposal to relocate city hall in the Herald-Leader building at the corner of Main and Midland.  The dramatic vote came after weeks of wrestling over the matter.

While this plan to repurpose the long-time home of the local newspaper got traction this summer, the idea of finding or building a more suitable site for city government has surfaced off and on for years.  But, when it came time to vote, Vice Mayor Steve Kay, an ardent supporter of the proposal, said the votes weren’t there.

Weekly Arts Chat with Rich Copley

Sep 13, 2018

In this week’s Arts Chat with Rich Copley and Wendy Barnett, they say Latin Culture is coming to the Bluegrass, an A-list British Comedy tour kicks off in Lexington, and Halloween comes early with Scarefest…

Matt Markgraf/WKMS

Rumors have been circulating in Calloway County for months regarding secret audio recordings in the courthouse. WKMS News investigated the cameras and how county officials are addressing the concerns. 

The investigation began on a concern involving surveillance cameras in the offices of the Calloway County Clerk and Property Valuation Administrator recording audio. Since then, WKMS News has conducted hours of interview and received hundreds of documents.


An eastern Kentucky senator is calling upon the governors of Kentucky and Virginia to seek more federal money to clean up a Pike County lake. 

The Lexington city council is expected to vote tonight on a proposal to relocate city hall and nearby local government offices to the Herald-Leader building at the corner of Main Street and Midland Avenue. The lease-to-own proposal amounts to a $175 million project.

Finance and Administration Commissioner Bill Omara says deferred maintenance costs in the current city hall run over $20 million.

The 200 E. Main St. location became city hall in 1982. It originally was established as the Lafayette Hotel in 1920. The hotel closed in 1963 and became an office building.

Kentucky electric cooperatives are sending crews to help with the recovery from Hurricane Florence but the exact destination is still a moving target.

Hurricane Florence has been a shifting monster of a storm, taking a southward turn that’s been keeping recovery crews from Kentucky and many other states ready to help, but waiting for the route to become clear. 
Of the 24 local electric co-ops in Kentucky, at least 19 have crews ready to assist. About 160 line workers are set to be deployed this weekend. 

Eastern Standard: September 13, 2018

Sep 13, 2018

On this week's Eastern Standard Host Tom Martin speaks with explorers Amy and Dave Freeman about their many experiences that will launch tonight's EKU Chautauqua lecture series.

Stu Johnson

Destruction of chemical weapons stored at the Blue Grass Army Depot is expected to be underway this time next year.  An update came during the quarterly citizens’ advisory meeting in Richmond Wednesday.

Matt Markgraf/WKMS

A quilt themed around the nuances of time is the Janome  America Best of Show winner at the American Quilter’s Society Fall Paducah QuiltWeek. Kathy Wylie of Ontario, Canada says her quilt titled ‘For Such A Time As This’ features a large medallion divided into 12 sections representing a clock and months in a year, each with distinctions.

Political Polling By Phone Can Be Challenging

Sep 12, 2018

Political polling has been a commonplace practice for years, initially only with individual candidate camps.  Today, public polling on political races through phone calls is also very common.  But challenges come with the diminishing number of landline phones and unanswered cell phone calls.

A Herald-Leader report this week regarding the 6th Congressional District race between Andy Barr and Amy McGrath noted a 1.7 percent response rate.  University of Kentucky Political Scientist Tiffany Barnes said it still can be reflective of what voters are thinking.

Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes is asking President Donald Trump to urge Congress to provide additional funding for state election security after he signed an executive order Wednesday. 

NPR reports Trump’s executive order would impose sanctions on any foreign person or country that attempts to interfere in U.S. elections. Grimes praised this move in a release, but says she hopes Trump will petition Congress to provide additional funding for state election security.


Kentucky Emergency Management is sending two Swiftwater Search and Rescue teams to North Carolina this afternoon Wednesday to assist with relief for the impending Hurricane Florence. They will deploy through the Emergency Management Assistance Compact, also known as E-MAC.  The teams intend to arrive in Raleigh, North Carolina, before the storm hits. Director Michael Dossett says emergency managment deploys as many teams as possible to support their E-MAC partners.

Lexington’s city council is considering hiring a negotiator as part of the process in relocating city hall.  A final vote on a proposed move to the Lexington Herald-Leader building is scheduled for Thursday night.

The city hall proposal has the city entering into a long term lease to own agreement, paying $5 million over 35 years.  Ninth District Council Member Jennifer Mossotti won backing to move hiring a lease negotiator onto the meeting docket. 

UK ROTC Cadets Participate In 9/11 Commemoration

Sep 11, 2018
Stu Johnson

The front lawn of the University of Kentucky campus once again Tuesday became a place to honor victims of the worst terrorist attacks on U.S. soil.

Reactions to the 9-11 events still ring strong 17 years after the twin towers in New York fell, a plane crashed into the Pentagon, and a fourth plane claimed victims in a Pennsylvania field. 

An ROTC cadet read names of those who died in the 9-11 attacks while the lawn in front of UK’s Main building displayed American flags representing the victims on that September 2001 day. UK

Kentucky State Resort Parks are offering discounted rates to people seeking shelter from Hurricane Florence. Florence is currently a Category Four storm with 130 mile per hour maximum sustained winds expected to bring dangerous flooding and storm surges to the coasts of Virginia and North and South Carolina.

More than one million people have been ordered to evacuate. Kentucky State Resort Parks are offering a discounted rate of $49.95 a night on lodge rooms, $69.95 a night for one bedroom cottages and $79.95 a night for two bedroom cottages.

Mary Meehan

Health officials are urging everyone in Fayette County to get vaccinated against Hepatitis A.

At a press conference Tuesday, Health Commissioner Dr. Kraig Humbaugh said Fayette County has only 9 cases confirmed so far, but that the vaccine has “an excellent track record” of preventing the spread of the disease.


   A new poll on Kentucky’s 6th District congressional race affirms what political pundits have been saying for months. It’s going to be a nail-biter. 

Republican Incumbent Andy Barr is leading his Democratic challenger Amy McGrath by one point. The independent poll was conducted last week by the New York Times and Siena College. Among the 506 respondents, 47 percent favored Barr, 46 percent endorsed McGrath, and seven percent were undecided.

Stu Johnson

Fayette County school officials have spelled out timelines for components of the system’s 10 point comprehensive safety investment plan. It came Monday evening during a school board planning meeting.

Eastern Kentucky University’s Phase Two Science Building is now formally recognized as a LEED Gold facility.  The ceremony took place Monday. 

Rate of Hepatitis A Infections May Be Slowing

Sep 10, 2018

Kentucky has more than 1,600 cases of Hepatitis A, but Public Health Commissioner Dr. Jeffrey Howard says that rise in cases has prompted people outside of the high risk groups to recognize the seriousness of the outbreak and the opportunity for prevention.

“The message is getting out there load and clear and it is making people more receptive to vaccine,” he said.

Brittany Patterson/Ohio Valley ReSource

William Suan is no stranger to the problems abandoned oil and gas wells can cause.

“It’s just an eyesore,” he said, standing inside a barn on his cattle ranch near Lost Creek, West Virginia. “I had to fence one off because it’s leaking now.”

There are five inactive wells on his land, most installed in the ’60s and ’70s, and the companies that owned the wells have long since gone out of business.


When you take coal-mining and manufacturing out of Eastern Kentucky's economic picture, what remains?

Host Tom Martin poses this question to Eastern Kentucky University's Associate Professor of Sociology, Dr. James Maples. Trained as a political economist, his focused expertise is in Outdoor Recreation Economic Impact Research.

Continue the conversation with Tom Martin and Dr. James Maples on Eastern Standard this week. Listen to WEKU's local news magazine, Thursdays at 11:00am and a rebroadcast on Sundays at 6:00pm. 

Comic Character Craze in Lexington

Sep 10, 2018
Stu Johnson

The sometimes intense interest in super heroes is seen today in cities all across the U.S. including Lexington.  The touring live action arena show, ‘Marvel Universe Life’ just completed a four day run at Rupp Arena.  

Appalatin Sounds Come to Berea Music Festival

Sep 10, 2018
Erica Chambers-Levitt Amp Berea Music Series

Berea’s Old Town Artisan Village this weekend featured a blend of Appalachian folk and Latin American music.

The band Appalatin played the Levitt Amp Berea Music Series Friday night.  The southern Madison County town is one of three in Kentucky to benefit from a Mortimer and Mimi Levitt Foundation grant. 

Stu Johnson

The Fayette County School Board approved a $13 million school safety program this summer.  Supported through a new 5 cent property tax,  it calls for more security guards, more mental health counselors and more metal detectors.  A petition drive to put the new tax on the ballot this fall failed.

Kyeland Jackson/WFPL

Cheese bowed his head into the cool grass, lay down, and ate a popsicle. On every side, children petted the 10-year-old pit bull. A parent read Dr. Seuss’s Green Eggs and Ham aloud. Nearly a dozen people gathered that warm evening on August 30 to celebrate Cheese’s life. They knew that would be his last full day alive.

Cheese was first brought to the Louisville Metro Animal Services shelter in 2016.

‘Cheese’ was already his name at that point; the warts that pocked his golden-brown fur reminded shelter workers of moldy cheese, and the moniker stuck.


Kentucky Senator Rand Paul says the White House needs to use a lie detector test to find out who wrote an anonymous op-ed published in the New York Times this week.

The op-ed is purportedly written by a senior official in President Trump’s administration who claims to be a part of an internal resistance effort actively working to block the president’s most extreme policies and instincts.

Senator Paul told reporters on Capitol Hill Thursday that anyone who has security clearance at the White House should undergo a polygraph exam to help determine who wrote the op-ed.